Oil prices rise as OPEC output cuts seen to be deeper than previously expected

CNBC

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plans to publish details of output cut quotas, OPEC’s secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said in a letter reviewed by Reuters on Thursday.
  • WTI and Brent futures have declined more than 30 percent from their peak in October.

Oil pumpjacks in the Permian Basin oil field are getting to work as crude oil prices gain.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Oil pumpjacks in the Permian Basin oil field are getting to work as crude oil prices gain.

Oil prices climbed on Friday after tumbling 5 percent in the previous session on signs OPEC’s production cuts that start next month will be deeper than expected.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $54.62 per barrel at 0448 GMT, after dropping $2.89 in the previous session. Brent is set to drop 9.4 percent for the week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 33 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $46.22 per barrel. WTI is set to decline about 9.5 percent for the week.

Crude prices have fallen along with major equity markets as investors fret about the strength of the global economy heading into next year. Further concerns were raised as the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, may have a government shutdown later on Friday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plans to release a table detailing output cut quotas for its members and allies such as Russia in an effort to shore up the price of crude, OPEC’s secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said in a letter reviewed by Reuters on Thursday.

Barkindo said to reach the proposed cut of 1.2 million barrels per day, the effective reduction for member countries was 3.02 percent.

That is higher than the initially discussed 2.5 percent as OPEC seeks to accommodate Iran, Libya and Venezuela, which are exempt from any requirement to cut.

“The current oil prices will force OPEC to increase compliance with the production cut deals, supporting Brent prices,” said Wang Xiao, head of crude research at Guotai Junan futures.

“The temporary recovery in prices has been driven by short- sellers buying back,” said Wang, referring to investors buying futures to close out positions that profit from falling oil prices.

WTI and Brent futures are down more than 30 percent from their peak in October on concerns of oil demand will drop because of a slowing global economy and signs of a supply glut.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at OANDA said in a note that market volatility was “getting exaggerated by immensely thin liquidity conditions, risk sentiment, and holiday market participation”.

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